William J. Bigler

Urban Wildlife and Community Health: Gray Squirrels as Environmental Monitors

This paper emphasizes the value of urban wildlife as environmental monitors for hazards of public health concern. A comprehensive model, utilizing gray squirrels, (Sciurus carolinensis) was developed through the collaboration of wildlife biologists and investigators in allied disciplines. This study includes 1) documentation of the diseases and parasites of squirrels which are potentially pathogenic for humans, 2) evaluation of the squirrel as an indicator of radioactive materials, pesticides and heavy metals and 3) baseline information on the biology and physiology of the species.